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TV Review: ABC’s Notes From the Underbelly Is About Everyone Who’s Ever Been Pregnant

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Last night my wife and I watched a new show on ABC called Notes From The Underbelly. From ABC's writeup:

Andrew (Peter Cambor) and Lauren (Jennifer Westfeldt, Kissing Jessica Stein) have just found out they're going to have a baby, and they're having a difficult time following rule number one — keeping it a secret. Suddenly switching to decaf, becoming a teetotaler at cocktail parties, and going to the OB/GYN are all difficult to keep from family and close friends.

I've heard somewhere that the best books, stories, and films are the ones we can identify with. When we see parts of ourselves in the characters it makes for a better story. Well, Notes From The Underbelly was written for my wife and me. No, the writers of the show did not call us and decide to write our life story, but it is really creepy how this show follows our lives and our impending parenthood.

My wife and I are expecting a baby. You head it here first. We are pregnant. We are running the early rollercoaster ride of fear and excitement. Listening to the conversations protagonists Andrew and Lauren had before they had the baby and then when they got pregnant eerily mirrored the same discussions we had.

In the show there are friends of Lauren and Andrew, Julie and Eric. They are totally baby crazy, and are several months farther along. Julie and Eric are also the names of our baby-crazy and several months farther along sister and and brother-in-law.

So aside from the similarities, this show is tremendously funny. It is filmed in the laugh-trackless, one camera approach most popular now in sitcoms (Scrubs, 30 Rock, and The Office). The writing is spot-on accurate. As I said, it is basically mirroring the same discussion my wife and I had before we got pregnant, and then after we found out the good news.

Even the way people discovered our secret was the same as happened in the show. My cigarette smoking, beer and coffee drinking wife suddenly switched to chewing on pens and drinking decaf and root beer; people knew right away.

This show had us laughing out loud at spots and looking nervously at each other at others. It was a fun ride, and I hope ABC keeps this show, and doesn't dump it like it did another great show about families and life, Sons and Daughters.

This show is funny, well written, warm, and satirical. Anyone who has ever had a child (if you have the time from parent stuff) or are currently with child (if you can bear to accept the reality of it) should give this show a shot. I'm sure you'll believe the same thing. This is a story about you.

Notes From The Underbelly airs Wednesdays at 8:30 on ABC.

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